This study examines patterns of skeletal trauma in propeller-driven aircraft crashes and blast-related ground loss incidents from WWII. Specifically, descriptions and criteria used to characterize aircraft deceleration- versus blast-related skeletal injuries are examined from 35 recently identified forensic anthropology cases to determine possible diagnostic traits and characterize skeletal trauma associated with these events. Among these cases, blast trauma is more localized within the skeleton and is associated with one or few primary directions of force. It is recommended that analysts differentiate between secondary and nonspecific blast trauma categories. Conversely, aircraft crash deceleration trauma is more widespread throughout the skeleton, with torsional fractures and injuries occurring from multiple or indeterminate directions. These traits reflect factors such as more complex loading environments than is seen in blast events. Two case studies are presented in detail to further illustrate differences in aircraft crash and blast-related incidents. Both studies emphasize consideration of the body as a whole unit to facilitate interpretations. While the cases presented herein result from historic war-related casualties that characterize the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency's (DPAA) casework, these skeletal cases provide guidelines more appropriate than clinically derived criteria developed through assessments of soft tissue injuries. These guidelines can be used by anthropologists and pathologists working with skeletal remain from mass disasters and other complex contexts, as well as provide avenues for future research. © 2020 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.